Opening a bank account can be considered one of the most crucial steps for any young person.
First, they must decide whether or not they want to participate in this kind of financial activity. Then, they should check if they meet the requirements set by banks. After that, they should find out what information they are expected to provide and what documents they need.
When setting up a new bank account, prepare yourself before entering a branch or opening your account online.
So let’s start with the most common question young people ask: How old does a person have to be to open a bank account?
Requirements for opening a bank account
To open an account, you have to meet specific qualifications. Most US banks require you to be a: American citizen 18 or older, have identification from your state of residence and have enough money saved up in your new account.
Now, it’s not necessary to be 18 years old to open a bank account. If you’re younger than 18 and wish to open a bank account or a parent who wishes to open an account for your kid, a co-owner will need to provide information for anyone under legal age.
Can minors open a bank account?
Opening bank accounts requires one to be of eligible minimum age. One must be at least 18 years of age to open a bank account by themselves or the age of adulthood in their state of residence.
Children cannot open a bank account in their name because they are not legally responsible enough to enter into a contract.
One way around this problem is to open a joint account of a minor with at least one of the account holders having the minimum age set by your state. Often the parents are the ones who are the age of the majority, so they must have an account, too.
Likewise, you can apply for accounts specifically targeted toward minors looking to open a banking account, but this still needs a parent or guardian to serve as one among the account holders.
These accounts allow the parent to manage the account while teaching the child about banking. Before opening an account, you should check with the potential bank of choice to see the eligibility requirements for opening an account. Also, examine any fees, like a monthly payment or service charge and other associated charges imposed by the bank.
Steps to open a bank account for minors
A parent or guardian should open an account and list themselves as joint owners with their child. The steps to do so will vary depending on the type of financial institution they choose. But generally speaking, following the instructions for opening a bank account for a child are:
1. Choose the type of bank account.
Teens generally only have access to kids’ checking accounts, while kids of almost any age have access to saving accounts. Many banking institutions and money apps for kids provide the ability to open savings accounts for babies so you can give financial gifts to babies, children, or grandchildren.
If you don’t wish to create full-blown checking accounts for kids, you can also look towards saving accounts to save money for college for your kids.
2. Play your part in the decision
When deciding which account type you want, you’ll need to consider the best options for your needs.
Once you’ve settled on this decision, you’ll explore the various child-oriented financial services banks, credit unions, and Fintech companies offer. To help you make the right choice, we’ve put together this list of pros and cons for each type of account.
3. Prepare your documentation
When opening an account, it is important to provide important details. These documents can help verify your identity and ensure the person who owns the account is you. You may also need to show proof of income.
While what you need might vary by institution, these are the common minimum requirements. The account holder must provide all or some variation on the above items the joint accounts held between the minor and his parents or guardians with the following documentation:
- Your driver’s license
- Social Security number
- Your child’s Social Security number
- Child’s birth certificate
- Proof of address
4. Submit an application
Once you’ve selected a banking institution and an appropriate account, you’ll be able to apply for the new account online. You may also need to visit a branch in person, but many financial institutions now accept applications via mobile devices.
In any case, the whole process will only take about 15 minutes in total. Your bank may send you the approval a few days after the initial processing, and there you have your minor account ready for transactions.
Today, the variety of choices you have when opening bank accounts for your children varies, ranging from traditional brick-and-mortar banks to online banks and even digital wallet/fintech apps.
When choosing between these alternatives, you may consider how much control you want to give your child over their finances, what type of account they would like, and whether or not you want to partner up with a school so they can gain access to special savings accounts and benefits.
So, can you open an account being younger than 18? Technically, no. However, you should open a minor account early to learn to handle your finances and get used to managing your money early in life.